Starting lineman Hargis lost to torn ACL

Judging by the past few seasons, the acronym for the ASU offensive line actually stands for “Always Snakebitten Unit.”

An MRI revealed Tuesday that projected starting left tackle and fifth-year senior Jon Hargis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during Saturday’s scrimmage and will miss six to nine months, likely forcing him to miss the entire 2010 season.

“Really, nobody hit him,” ASU coach Dennis Erickson said. “He just twisted it. When they looked at it [Saturday], they didn’t think it was anything. I was shocked.”

Hargis, who started all 12 games last season at left guard after starting 12 games at left tackle in 2008, was going to anchor a unit looking to improve upon an injury plagued season.

“I just feel bad for Jon,” Erickson said. “He has worked hard and was about to reap the benefits of being a senior. The one good thing about it is that we have a lot more depth than we’ve had. We lose a guy like that last year, and it would have been more devastating.”

Hargis chose to watch practice on Tuesday despite coaches allowing him the opportunity to stay at home after learning the devastating news.

“Its one of those one-in-a-million chances,” Hargis said after learning of the injury just a few hours before. “My foot kind of got planted in the turf, and I got bumped and fell. I felt a little pop, [but it was] nothing new. I’ve felt pops in my knees all the time. I felt like it just gave out a little bit. I was running back and forth on the sideline and doing squats afterward. There was no swelling. I just thought it was a little hyperextension.”

Hargis has yet to decide on whether he will apply for a medical redshirt, which, if approved, would allow him to play next season.

“I shed my tears,” Hargis said. “It was a reality check. You hear about ‘play like it is your last play,’ but you never react to it. You always hear about stories of other people and never think it will be you. It’s like, ‘Wow, what am I going to do?’”

Hargis said he hopes to use the opportunity on the sidelines to help coach up younger players. If Tuesday’s post-practice media availability was any indication, he will likely have a positive effect. Hargis spoke with reporters for close to 10 minutes, much of which he spent giving scouting reports on teammates, concluding that ASU’s improved depth, once key starters return from injury, will have them in good position for the fall.

“”I’m getting good reports about [junior offensive lineman Matt] Hustad,” Hargis said. “He is doing good.”

Erickson said redshirt freshman Kody Koebensky, junior transfers Chris De Armas and Brice Schwab and sophomore Andrew Sampson will be in the running to take Hargis’ spot.

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